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Honesty in "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Transcript of Honesty in "The Importance of Being Earnest"
by: Anna Sexton
Honesty in the play
Shows Shallowness of Victorian society.
Everything was based on class, and social rank rather than what came from the heart.
Gwendolen was only concerned about being with "Earnest" not for Jacks real personality.
What the Characters Learned About Honesty
All of the characters have their own web of lies throughout the book.
Mrs. Prism tells her secret and all of the other characters lies start coming out into the open.
Honesty in one person can affect the lives of other people (domino effect).
From the title, one can believe the name "Earnest" means honest
However, it is a pun
Earnest is the name of Jack Worthing's alter ego
Jack pretends to be Earnest in the city to escape his responsibilities and to impress Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn always wanted to marry a man named Earnest
Algernon is also dishonest
Creates friend "Bunbury" to escape city
Uses name Earnest to impress Cecily
Every character seems to lie in one way or another; no one is really honest
Although everyone lies, the title of the play suggests there is something valuable about being "earnest" or honest
Jack's lies turn out to be true in the end
Quotes from the play:
"I've now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest" - Jack
"The truth is rarely pure and never simple"- Algernon
"It is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth" - Jack
Quotes from popular culture:
"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom"-Thomas Jefferson
"Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself"- William Shakespeare
"Honesty prospers in every condition of life" Friedrich Schiller
What might you have done if you were in the same situation as Jack and/or Algernon?
Jack and Algernon were dishonest to Gwendolyn and Cecily.
If I was in this situation, I would choose to be honest.
Relationships should not be built on lies and deception.
Lying about one thing will most likely lead to far worst things.
"It is most important to be stylish than sincere.."
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest, New York: Dover
Publications, 1990. Print.